January 1, 2016

Tenkara Tanuki 425 "The Dark Cloud" tenkara rod -- dry review

I visited Brent Auger, from Dragontail Tenkara, the other day. It was great to see him and to see the Dragontail Tenkara warehouse. They've got a lot of exciting projects that I'm looking forward to; some new offerings and some expanded product lines. It looks like it will be another great year for them.

Anyway, while I was there, Brent loaned me a new Tenkara Tanuki 425 rod to look at and test. He received a few from Luong Tam, the designer of the rod. Here is my impression of the rod; it's a dry review since the temperatures are currently in the single digits and the streams are all full of blue ice.

The rod looks very similar to the Tanuki 375 that I previously reviewed, with the exception of gold accents and wood ends to the handle. The finish is black, glossy. But rather than me going through all the details, here is what is published about this rod:

Tanuki 425 is a Tenkara rod with Ultra light tip sections. Tanuki 425 tip's diameter is smallest and also it is lightest. It is designed for open water and for those who love traditional Japanese rod style and Western power rod. It is designed for pinpoint casting with tight loop. With a stronger backbone of Western Tenkara rod and delicate flexibility tips,

High flexibility and Ultra light tip sections help those who love to cast from small dry fly. Tanuki425 is designed beyond tractional Japanese Kebari for Czech nymphing. By putting the index finger on the wooden section of the grip, fishers would have a better feeling the rod vibration.

Grip is built with a high quality synthetic EVA and wood for comfort, increased sensitivity and durability. 

Length: about 425 cm (~13' 11-1/4")

Closed Size: about 59 cm (~23")

Segments: 9

Handle Length: 30 cm (11-3/4").

Weight: 102 gram 3.6 oz.

Color: Glossy Black

I have been told that the Tanuki 425 is designed for larger waters and bigger fish. I don't fish larger waters, nor do I target bigger fish, so the Tanuki 425 is not a rod that will likely be in my quiver, but I can see it's appeal for those that do.

Here are some of my measurements:

Length fully extended: 425 cm (as advertised)
Weight (without tip plug): 100.4 g
CCS: 19 pennies
RFI: 4.5
Rotational Moment: 7.8

The rod has a crisp action, mainly due to it's flexible tip sections. It casts as a 6:4 rod. It has no noticeable end-of stroke oscillation or overshoot. It throws a #3 level line really well, as you would expect from its design. It balances well, but it can't defy physics. Since it's a long rod there is some tip heaviness. You can see this in its rotational moment measurement.

My impression overall is that this is a very nice rod. Personally, I'd lose the wood embellishments and replace them with either foam or cork. I don't know if the wood makes the rod heavier than it needs to be, but my own preference is for lighter weight over aesthetics. It is one handsome rod though.

So, if you fish mainly wide open waters, and desire a long reach in a tenkara rod, then you should consider the Tenkara Tanuki 425 "The Dark Cloud". It is beautifully made and very well designed. As for me, I'll stick with the "thin blue lines" and shorter rods.

Disclaimer: My opinion regarding this rod is just that, my opinion. Your opinion may differ.  Also, your rod may not have the same characteristics or functionality as my rod. There are variations between rods, even in the same production run. No description can fully tell you how a rod feels or fishes. For this, you must personally hold, cast, and fish the rod then make up your own mind.


  1. Beautiful rod! Love the mix of material for the grip, only time casting would say if that's useful in practice.

  2. The wood section is designed for fishers who like to feel the blank vibration. It is a long rod, most of the weight is on the grip. It designed for holding on the upper part of the grip and rest your index finger on the wooden section when you cast. You will feel it is light as Tanuki 375 and comfortable for its length. For a long rod, light tip sections and balance is more important than weight. With cork this rod weight 84 grams.